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Benue/Ebonyi land disputes: Hundreds of people flee Agila as Ngbo people launch attack

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Benue/Ebonyi land disputes: Hundreds of people flee Agila as Ngbo people launch attack

Hundreds of people were reported to have fled the border communities between Benue and Ebonyi States following the renewed attack on Agila people of Ado local government area of Benue State.

The Agila and Ngbo people of Benue and Ebonyi states respectively had long been at each other throat over land disputes leading to loss of several lives.

The crisis was said to have been escalated in the past few days leading to the sack of some villages in Agila.

A community leader in Ado local government area of Benue state, Otse Otokpa told our correspondent that the latest attack on Agila by Ngbo people was to frustrate the planned visit of Boundary Commission expected this week.

Otokpa said, “The crisis which has preceded many years have seen many killed in the past, you know the problem is all about land, last month the boundary Commission was to visit the area but postponed to this month and each time the commission plans to visit the area, the Ngbo people will launch attack purposely to frustrate the visit.

“Since the past few days, the Ngbo people have consistently launched attacks on Agila, even early this morning, they invaded the community but there is no record of death.

Also speaking with journalists on phone, Parish priest of St. Peters’ Catholic Church, Agila Rev. Fr. Emmanuel Onoja said his church came under heavy attack by the Ngbo warriors.

“There was heavy shooting in the Church. Since the crisis started, this is the first time, I am experiencing this. They wrote an inscription on the wall telling Agila people to depart the land. They nearly killed a young man who was farming behind the Church.

“As am talking to you, am the only one in the church everyone has gone”, adding that he called the Deputy Governor Engr. Benson Abounu who promised that government would send soldiers to the area but said that the soldiers were yet to come as at the time of filing this report.

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The Caretaker Chairman, Ado local government, Mr. James Oche who decried the incessant attack on the people of Agila by Ngbo people of Ebonyi State accused the Ngbo people of attempt to frustrate the boundary demarcation between Benue and Ebonyi States as well as Enugu and Benue States.

He said, “this is the second attack on a week. They attacked Government Secondary School, Agila and a Catholic Church. Though, there is no casualty but basically, they are carrying out these attacks to frustrate the Federal government’s efforts at re beaconing the Benue/Enugu and Benue/Ebonyi boundaries.

“As a matter of fact, we saw that there would be further attacks on Oha-Agila, Ijigban, and Ekele, these are border communities. Only recently the Federal government released money for re beaconing of our boundaries. So, all these attacks are meant to frustrate the process”, Oche observed.

Meanwhile, all efforts to get the comments of the Benue State Deputy Governor, Benson Abounu who is the Chairman, Interstate Boundary Committee failed as he neither responded to calls nor replied to text messages sent to his phone.

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When contacted, the Police Public Relations Officer, Catherine Anene said she was not aware of the attacks.v

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COVID-19: FG set to convert eligible hospitals to sample collection sites

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The Federal Government is set to convert all “eligible” public and private hospitals nationwide to COVID-19 sample collection sites.

This, according to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, will require working with state governments and the National Primary Health Care and Development Agency (NPHCDA) to identify the facilities and space within them.

Ehanire made this known even as he stated that in the month of June alone, a total of 15,532 cases were confirmed from 74,580 tests, with 303 deaths on record.

The minister, who was speaking at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, on Monday, said it was the plan of the Ministry of Health to boost overall COVID-19 sample collection, by preparing all eligible public and private hospitals nationwide to become collection sites.

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Besides identifying the facilities and space in their areas, the minister said the state governments and the NPHCDA, “will also conduct training for the personnel selected and supply both PPEs and sample collection kits, as well as the logistics to go around to recover test samples.”

He pointed out that the move will lead to better utilisation of available laboratory assets in the country, which are now capable of handling far more cases than they presently do.

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He said:

“If logistics around sample collection and delivery to testing sites are better organised, a lot more will be achieved. However, the more we test, the more confirmed cases we shall find, of which the vulnerable will have to be prioritized for admission to treatment centres, even if they are not yet showing symptoms.

“States will be encouraged to use all opportunities to isolate other asymptomatic cases who may not qualify for supervised self Isolation, for the period they are deemed to be infectious or are at risk of infecting the vulnerable. It will also mean scaling up treatment and Isolation centres in states and the logistics for managing them.”

On the increasing cases of COVID-19, the minister said in the month of June alone, a total of 15,532 cases were confirmed from 74,580 tests, with 303 deaths on record.

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As of today 6th of July 2020, he stated that Nigeria has recorded a total of 28,711 confirmed COVID-19 cases, out of 152,952 tests conducted, of which 11,665 have been treated successfully and discharged; adding, “we have regrettably recorded 645 fatalities.”

He said that government is running testing for COVID-19 free, and called on Nigerians to report anyone who demands payment for necessary action.

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COVID-19: Nigeria considers another total lockdown in two weeks

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The federal government has threatened to impose a fresh lockdown in another two weeks following the increasing rate of COVID-19 cases in the country, especially among people in authority.

Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, on Monday, lamented that it was directly affecting governance and security in the country.

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Mustapha, speaking at the task force press briefing in Abuja, admitted the possibility of ordering a fresh total lockdown to curtail further spread of the virus.

He, however, said events of coming weeks would determine the next line of action.

“We will not speculate on what will happen in future, but we will protect the lives of Nigerians

“To achieve that, if it means to lockdown again, we will not shy away from that responsibility.

“We will recommend to the President who will look at the report and take a decision on our recommendation. What happens in the next two-three weeks will determine what we will do,” Mustapha said.

Mustapha’s warning comes after Governors David Umahi of Ebonyi, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta and Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, recently contracted the virus.

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Reactions trail the closure of third mainland bridge for six months

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Recall that yesterday, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, announced that Third Mainland bridge will be closed likely on July 24th for another phase of repair works to begin.

The federal government and Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu have since come under attack as netizens can’t seem to understand why such irrational decisions are taken by them.

Popoola said that consultations were on towards evolving perfect traffic management architecture.

The recent development has stirred reactions from residents in Lagos as they have expressed concern over traffic gridlock in the state.

Some Lagosians queried the government for taking such decisions now despite having experienced almost three months lockdown in the state.

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See some comments gathered from Twitter:

@Akwalmoh

“Why didn’t they carry out this said maintenance when the country was in total lock down, after all some people on essentials were allowed to move around.”

@Aunty_Tp

“My dear governor Jide Sanwo-Olu with Eko Bridge still closed, the New Costain bridge unfinished, the type of rainy season we haven’t seen in a while, this is not the time to close Third Mainland bridge. Surulere is going to be a total mess to get around!

@Chuchu231

“This is some real issues. Federal government will just wake up one day and announce the closure of Third Mainland Bridge with no 1/2month prior notice. The CMS and COSTAIN routes will soon be incapacitated by high load.”

@Fredhodut

“Ahh, this is wickedness of the highest order. Eko bridge was shut down shortly before the lockdown, up till now they never opened it. What alternatives do they give to us now. God dey oh.”

@Adenaike

“I really fail to understand how we do things in this country. Most roads in Lagos are not fit to be so-called. Shouldn’t the FG give @followlasg and Sanwo-Olu time to finish the roads before closing Third Mainland bridge? Do governments here get a kick out frustrating the people?

@Susandamsel3

“Lagos is about to be crazy, why didn’t they do the work during lockdown naaa?

@Ekensmadus

“The challenge with leadership in Africa is the refusal to heed to the voice of the people! How do you close down 3rd Mainland Bridge when other access roads are in their current state? Is this closure really in our interest? Have we thought of the pain many will go through?

 

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